Thursday, January 22, 2015

0 Mt. Purgatory Mangisi Traverse

I’ve received an email from my office mate and she invites us to climb a mountain in Bokod, Benguet. The invitational photo was posted to my group page and they’re interested to join. So, Jeff will be the one who will communicate the contact person of the event.

Mt. Purgatory Mangisi traverse -sounds scary, right? I have no idea what this mountain can offer. But, the name itself is fascinating and it seems like you will be travelling to a place where you didn’t know if it will end up either to heaven or to hell. As for me, I didn’t feel anything, but excitement to climb those mountains. I miss hiking, indeed!

Leaving Manila on a Friday night and arrived Baguio City at dawn on the following day. Then, we went to Department of Tourism Baguio City for registration and briefing before heading to jump off point in Japas. All participants are getting ready and at exactly five o’clock in the morning the chartered jeepney are bound to Bokod, Benguet. After an hour, we had our breakfast at Adonot, Ambuklao. Then, we decide to go on top of the car to see the view while hitting on the road going to Mangagew. The view is perfect!

Three hours after, we’re now at the jump off. But, before we start, the organizer of the event were given an orientation about the traverse; what the mountains can offer, what to expect on the trail, how long the trek will be, do’s and don’ts. These events are organized and administered by the Association of Bokod Adventure Ecoguides or ABADEG. The illustration below is the map of the entire traverse.

The trail is officially started at ten o’clock. The first part of the trail is open and wide, but it is mostly ascending. Pine trees are visible on the trail and the roads are established enough and have enabled to jeep to pass through. After maybe about five kilometres, the trail will change into a mossy forest, and become a bit steep.

We have a quick lunch on the trail and then, more than two kilometres we reached the peak of Mt. Pack, it is about 2290 meter above sea level. The trail goes on through the mossy forest even though, it was really exhausting and time seems endless, but the scenery is captivating to keep going. Two to three hours after, we arrived at Mt. Purgatory that is 2080m.

From Purgatory, another three hours trekking to Tangbao Campsite where we can build our tent and finally, passing through Bakian Elementary School. The group arrived at the campsite at exactly six o’clock in the evening. We immediately fix our tent and get some rest. Then, dinner and socials! Locals dances the “katutubong sayaw” while all participants having dinner.

We woke up early in the morning on the second day of Mt. Purgatory Traverse and having coffee with the group and enjoying the cold weather, though the sun is already up. We’re heading to Mt. Komkompol, is about 2329m, after all things are packed up. It is the final peak in the range. It was really cold!  From the topmost, this time, the trail is mostly pine trees and the path is also well-established throughout the entire traverse.

We had our lunch at Ekip Barangay Hall and the foods are ginisang repolyo, and fried native chicken. The first batch will start descending and my group will follow after an hour. We will walk about four to five kilometres through a rough road to the jeepney pick up point which will take us back to Bokod proper.

As part of the events, certificates are given to all mountaineers who joined the events and the locals have dance presentation featuring the three-ethno linguistic groups of Bokod (Ibaloi, Karao, and Kalanguya).

In all, though I admit that it was very tiring due to the long hike, but I have enjoyed the view and the scenery from the start until the end. In fact, we had so much fun!

ITINERARY
Day 0
09:00PM – Assembly time Victory Liner Cubao
10:00PM – Bus Depart bound to Baguio City
Day 01
04:00AM – Arrived at Victory Liner Baguio
04:30AM – Registration at DOT Baguio City
05:00AM – Jeep departure bound
06:00AM – Breakfast
06:30AM – Bound to jump off point
09:30AM – Arrived at jump off point then, preparation and briefing
10:00AM – Start trekking
12:00PM – Lunch
01:00PM –Mt. Pack summit
03:00PM – Mt. Purgatory summit
06:00PM – Arrived at camp site, dinner, and then, watch katutubong sayaw with the locals
08:00PM – Rest
Day 02
06:00AM – Breakfast, picture taking
08:30AM – Start trekking
09:30AM – Mt. Kom-kompol View Point, snacks
12:30PM – Lunch at Ekip
02:30PM – Jump off, clean up
04:30PM – Arrival at Bokod Municipal Hall for closing program
06:00PM – Back to Baguio
08:00PM – Manila bound
The Participants

Happy hiking!

-Marco

Friday, January 9, 2015

0 SINULOG 2015 Schedule of Activities


Cebu’s Sinulog Festival is held on the third Sunday of January. It is a yearly cultural and religious celebration and is the heart of the Santo Nino Celebration in the Philippines. Sinulog is originates from the Cebuano word “Sulog” which signifies, “like water current movement”. It refers to the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance - it comprises of two steps forward and one step backward.

Photo credit: Teddy Uy (2nd Grand Prize Winner - Sinulog 2014)

Here’s the 2015 Sinulog Schedule of Activities.

January 8, 2015 (Thursday)
Opening Salvo: Walk with Jesus
4:00 AM : Assembly Time (Area) Fuente Osmeña
4:30 AM : Start of Walk-Fuente Osmeña Blvd. – Basilica del Sto. Niño
5:30 AM : Installation of Hermano & Hermana Mayores 2015

January 9, 2015 (Friday)
2015 Kick Off
10:00 AM : Sinulog Trade Fair at SM City Cebu by Department of Trade and Industry
2:00 PM : Solemn Mass (Basilica del Santo Niño)
3:00 PM : Launching Parade (Basilica del Santo Niño to CCSC)
7:00 PM : Opening and Launching Program, Fuente Osmeña
8:00 PM : Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM : Street Party Bands

January 10, 2015 (Saturday)
Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan
1:00 PM : Parade of Participants, Capitol Site to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00 PM : Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan at Cebu City Sports Center
6:30 PM : Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
7:00 PM. : Ms. Cebu 2015 Pre Pageant Night @ Ayala Activity Center

January 11, 2015 (Sunday)
Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan
3:00 AM. : Cebu City 2015 Marathon
1:00 PM : Parade of Participants, Plaza Independencia to Cebu City  Sports Center
2:00 PM : Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan at Cebu City Sports Center
6:30 PM : Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
8:00 PM : Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña)
9:00 PM : Concert at the Fuente Osmeña, Street Party Bands

January 12, 2015 (Monday)
6:30 PM : Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
8:00 PM : Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña)
9:00 PM : Concert at the Fuente Osmeña, Street Party Bands

January 13, 2015 (Tuesday)
6:30 PM : Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
8:00 PM : Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña)
9:00 PM : Concert at the Fuente Osmeña, Street Party Bands

January 14, 2015 (Wednesday)
9:00 AM : Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
6:30 PM : Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
7:00 PM : Ms. Cebu 2015 Coronation Night
8:00 PM. : Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña)
9:00 PM. : Concert @ the Fuente Osmeña, Street Party Bands

January 15, 2015 (Thursday)
9:00 AM. : Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
6:00 PM. : Balik Cebu Welcome Party @ Ayala Activity Center
6:30 PM. : Sinulog Festival Queen Runway Competition and Photoshoot
8:00 PM. : Handumanan @ Ayala Terraces
8:00 PM. : Sinulog 2015 Idol Grand Finals @ the Fuente Osmeña
9:00 PM. : Concert @ the Fuente Osmeña, Street Party Bands

January 16, 2015 (Friday)
Visual Merchandising Contest (Dept. Stores and Malls)
4:00 AM. : Walk with Mary (Area) Fuente Osmeña - Sto. Niño
9:00 AM. : Solidairty Meeting (All Competing Contingent/Floats/Higante/Puppeteers)
                  @ Cebu City Sports Center Gym
6:00 PM. : Sinulog 2015 Dance Crew Finals @ Cebu City Sports Center
7:30 PM. : Sinulog Festival Queen 2015 Coronation Night @ Cebu City Sports Center
8:00 PM. : Cebu Popular Music Festival @ Cebu Coliseum

January 17, 2015 (Saturday)
6:00 AM. : Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Sto. Niño
9:00 AM. : Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon Basilica del Santo Niño
12:00 PM. : 10th "The Street Vibration & Big Bike Rally 2015"
                    by V-max Owner's Group, Inc. Cebu Chapter
2:00 PM. : Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
7:00 PM. : Sinulog Fireworks Competition @ SM City Cebu
7:00 PM. : Street Party @ Fuente Osmeña and Plaza Independencia

January 18, 2015 (Sunday)
Sinulog Grand Parade
4:00 AM. : Mañanita Mass @ Basilica del Sto. Niño
6:00 AM. : Pontifical Mass with His Eminence Jose S. Palma
8:00 AM. : Holy Mass @ Cebu City Sports Center
9:00 AM. : Sinulog Grand Parade Carousel Kick Off
7:00 PM. : Grand Finale and Grand Fireworks @ Cebu City Sports Center
7:30 PM. : Street Party Bands, Fuente Osmeña
9:00 PM. : Pyrospectacular Show (Pyromusical Show @ SM City Cebu)
5:00 PM. – 2:00 A.M. : Concert Series sa Sugbo @ SRP Grounds
12:00MN : Sinulog Fireworks @SRP

January 19, 2015 (Monday) Awarding Ceremonies at Cebu City Sports Center
January 23, 2015 (Friday) “HUBO”
January 24, 2015 : Judging of Finalists Short Film/Video Documentary Contest                        
January 25, 2015 : First Cebu City Triathlon
January 26, 2015 : Judging Sinulog 2015 Photo Contest
January 27, 2015 : Judging of Finalist in Short Film / Video Documentary and
                               Music Video Contest
January 31, 2015
1:00 PM : Judging of Finalists Sinulog Short Film Festival at SM City Cebu
6:00 PM : Awarding Ceremonies Photo Contest, Short Film and
Video Documentary Contest at SM City Cebu

January 31, 2015 – February 8, 2015
Photo Exhibit “Winning Photos Sinulog 2014” at SM City Cebu

Mark on your calendar on these following dates, reserve your hotels now, book early, and most of all enjoy and have fun!

Happy travelling,
Marco

Info Source: http://www.sinulog.ph/

Friday, December 5, 2014

0 Christimas in the Philippines: Simbang Gabi

Simbang Gabi, Misa de Gallo in Spanish, will start from 16th of December and ends at midnight on 24th of December. A Filipino Christmas tradition, there are a series of nine dawn masses, usually starting as early as 4: 00 AM. It is practised by Catholic and Aglipayans, and with some Evangelical Christian, and the independent Protestant churches have adopted the practice in having pre-Christmas services during dawn.

Filipino celebrated with Midnight Mass and the traditional Noche Buena feast. The family member will dine together at around midnight and would also open their gifts at this time.

It is not only out of dedication, but also thanks to practical. In the 333 years was that Spain ruled the Philippines, it is usual that the Friars and priests celebrate holy mass for the Filipinos living in the barrios.

Simbang Gabi begins so early because of the experience of Filipinos under the Spanish Regime.

Also, local delicacies are readily available for the churchgoers; when they step out of the churches. Latik and Yema candies are sold to children. Biscuits like Uraro, Barquillos, Lengua de Gato and Otap are sold as well. Café Barako or Salabat were the main drinks. Arroz Caldo and Papait soups abound. And the famous Puto bumbong, bibingka, suman and other sweet rice cakes are cooked on the spot under the fiery red coals.


Friday, November 28, 2014

4 A Long Walk to Beautiful Bomod-ok Falls in Sagada

Our next destination in exploring Sagada is Bomod-ok Falls -is called the big falls; however, it is the most visited tourist place for both locals and travellers as this is breathtaking view. The waterfalls are about 200 feet tall that splash down to the cold pool.

We registered right away when we arrived and pay five hundred pesos (we are three in the group). A woman in her trekking outfit is our guide will lead us going to the falls. The sun is already up by this time and we started trekking by then. The trail is going up and down and passes in the rice fields. It takes about forty five minutes to one hour walked. It was already jumped-pack with different tourists from different places and countries.

The trail will across through the rice terraces, the houses and barns. Though, it’s hot already and walking on an open field is worth it because the view is spectacular and you can enjoy the scene while trekking. Our guide is very friendly and talkative. She could tell you about their culture and willing to answer some questions.


So, visiting Bomod-ok falls is a must-see and to enjoy the scene and the cold water. Don’t let your Sagada escapade done without seeing this beautiful big falls!

Friday, November 21, 2014

0 Dumaguete: Top 5 Of Best Place to Retire Around the World

According to the Retire Overseas Index, Dumaguete is among the cheapest places in the world to live. And, that’s made the place as the top 5 for The 7 Best Places to retire around the World.

Photo credits: superhappytotravel.blogspot

Dumaguete is the city in the province of Negros Oriental and it is the capital and the largest city of the province. It is also mentioned that the city is also known as university town because of the number of colleges and universities which is popular educational destination for students nearby provinces and cities in Visayas and Mindanao.

It has two seasons; dry season starts from December to May, while wet season is from the period of June to November. The hottest is on April and May. And it is protected against most of typhoons in the Philippines.

The tourist spots of the city are beach resorts, dive sites, and the attraction of dolphin and whale watching and the easy access from Cebu City via ferry. There are three major hospitals in the city.

Here's the The 7 Best Places To Retire Around The World;
  • The Algarve, Portugal
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • George Town, Malaysia
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Dumaguete, Philippines
  • Pau, France
  • Medellin, Colombia
Source: forbes.com


 
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